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Monolithic Nuance

by Cruel Diagonals

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Megan Mitchell composes unsettling, ethereal music under the alias, Cruel Diagonals. A jazz and classically trained vocalist, Mitchell performs and creates in numerous capacities. Some of her current endeavors include acting as proprietor of the left-of-field music index for non-male composers, Many Many Women, and researching, visiting and documenting places of abandoned industry with her field recorder and camera in tow. Her debut full-length album, Disambiguation, was released via Drawing Room Records on vinyl and digital formats, alongside her EP, Pulse of Indignation, cassette.

Artist notes:
This was my first piece incorporating Eurorack modular synthesis into my process, though the rest of the elements of my usual composition approaches are there; field recordings gleaned from various industrial spaces, layered vocals, and attention to spatial orientation as guiding principles.

The title itself, "Monolithic Nuance", speaks to the way in which I've interpreted the more sociopolitical aspects of Deep Listening as an embodied practice. Deep Listening espouses this notion that there is the tendency to commit one's energy toward a global attention, as opposed to a focal attention. This can be applied, of course, to the practice of listening, by honing in on the focal attention of the ear and picking out a tone within an otherwise chaotic environment; it can also be done by choosing to listen to a voice that is suppressed, silenced, or otherized. I think Deep Listening strives to encourage its practitioners to embody both this global (monolithic) and focal (nuanced) philosophy in approaching music, pure sound, and compassionate acts toward others. I've been thinking about this concept a great deal in the context of this seemingly human tendency to create a "pure" definition of what a person can or cannot embody based on some identity they have projected, and I attempted to explore these tensions and harmonies within this piece as well.


released October 17, 2018


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Cruel Diagonals Los Angeles, California

Cruel Diagonals is Los Angeles-based vocalist & field recordist, Megan Mitchell.

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